The Shanghai Extortion is a fictional story about a young army officer’s atonement for his social indiscretions, the inadvertent involvement into a criminal investigation that threatens American national security, and the complexities of life and love in a far off land.
Shanghai China in 1897 is the setting for a hair raising fast paced criminal investigation unintentionally dropped into the laps of two army officers, one American and one British. Captain Tyler Peterson, a socially disgraced U.S. army officer, is unceremoniously transferred from a staff appointment in Washington D.C. to the American consulate in Shanghai China as assistant military attaché.
There he meets and befriends a similarly outcast officer from the British Royal Army, Byron Lancaster, who has a comparable scarlet letter hanging over his head. Together they fall into a cesspool of intrigue and danger as they begin to discover and unravel a most sinister plot by a criminal syndicate whose sole purpose is to rid China of the spheres of European influence, and replace it with their own criminal empire.
To generate revenue to fund their venture the syndicate concocts a scheme to extort Chinese laborers in the United States with the help of an American businessman and colleague. The immigrants are coerced into paying a tithing or their families will be threatened and harmed back in China if they refuse to cooperate.
With the help of a determined Chinese detective from Macao, Tyler and Byron eventually assemble the pieces of the criminal enterprise puzzle together. However before the final conclusion is achieved, the detective is captured by the syndicate.
Interwoven between protecting American interests in China and his obligation to find those responsible for the crime wave, Tyler falls madly in love with a newly arrived American School teacher. Unlike any previous romantic relationship, this is a deeper love he has never felt for another woman, nor she for another man. Their relationship is challenged when the investigation begins to turn more violent exposing Tyler to increased danger.
The culmination of the syndicate’s plan comes together when an opportunity arises to annihilate all of the leadership of European Shanghai with one swift explosive blow, and Tyler finds himself the only person who can stop it.
The Afghan Deception, by VHPA member William Hatounian who served with D/1/4 CAV 1 INF (Dark Horse) in 67-68 is a historically based, but fictional story of the deployment of the 4th U.S. Cavalry to India to train with a British cavalry unit on the Northwest Frontier, in 1879. Both units are well commanded by strong willed and experienced officers who, not surprisingly, find themselves in a precarious situation that threatens the survival of both their units. The U.S. commander finds himself torn between his sense of duty and his orders to stay out of any fighting.
Although this story is fiction, Hatounian has done a great job of researching the public figures of the day and the military tactics, weapons, and history of the U.S. 4th Cavalry and British units that served in India and form the foundation of the story. He has done a great job of weaving the fictional aspects of his story into the political intrigues of 19th century British ruled India and Russia’s ambitions in Afghanistan at the time. The story speaks to the issues of honor, courage, and doing the right thing. It is a well written novel which pulls you into a time long ago and is well worth reading.
The Afghan Deception (304 pages, paperback, $11.55) by W.C. Hatounian, ISBN: 978-1456732691 available from http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/,
your local book store, Amazon, or other book suppliers.
Here’s something insightful, how about doing away with the major political parties and replace that structure with individuals who seek office running on their own. There are grass roots organizations better suited to provide America and the states with better, more honest candidates than the current system.
A candidate must be one of three ideologies, conservative, moderate, or liberal. That way the grass roots organizations that support those ideologies can choose the best person as their standard bearer.
The way it works within a state, for example, is that anyone interested in running for office in their ideological category goes to the grass roots organization and presents him/herself for consideration. It is assumed the organization will vet the candidates. Then the three ideologues will run against each other in a general election. This system can be easily applied to U.S. congressional as well as state legislator candidates, or incumbents.
For the presidential selection a convention should be held by each ideological group deciding on how a number of candidates would be selected. For example, one group might decide to divide the country into zones patterned after either the appellate court system or the Federal Reserve Bank, or something like that. Those grass roots organizations would then vet and select one or more candidates who in turn would have to present themselves at each zone area’s convention.
The organizations would have to decide on the number of candidates to present to the state primaries for a vote. The general election would then fall to the top two candidates who won the two highest numbers of delegates overall.
The benefit of this system is the elimination of the corrupt “party first” politics, the enormous amounts of money wasted by the current system. The American people would have more control of who has their consent to govern. No more party hacks, no more incumbents being a shoe-in, term limits could be imposed by the grass roots organizations without the need for state houses or federal government legislative inaction. And no more “establishment” politicians holding progress back because all they want to do is keep the status quo and coast to reelection.
If you just envision it you can see how much better a system it would be. Of course if you think anyone could make the two major parties give up what they have now for the betterment of the American people, then you’re just whistling Dixie. But at least someone should think about it.
History tells us that people who promote political
ideology that has not ever worked is nothing but a mask for those wanting
dominion over free people. In Vietnam and other places all over the world,
insurgents would enter villages and shoot all those who refused to comply with
In free countries where you can’t just walk in and
shoot people, the power hungry use political deception and the biased yellow press
in an attempt to brain wash the people toward the failed practices of Marxism
by saying this time they’re version is the one that will really work.
They know they can never win that argument in a
debate and never try. Instead they use methods like lying, smearing those who
oppose them and mob rule. So what’s the difference? I’m sure if they could,
they would resort to violence from the end of a gun. Thank God for the second amendment.
What does it say for a political party, who uses
the same barbaric tactics, no different than armed intimidation, to try and
persuade the people by destroying a dissenter’s life via an adoring, compliant,
and leftist yellow press, who has lost all claim to Impartiality? Is this the America we have devolved into?
As usual we will vote ourselves out of our current
mess, but this lesson should be remembered for a long time. As we vote out
establishment Washington one politician at a time, we should keep vigil on
those Marxist that are still among us, and keep attempting to change America.
Here is a question for a leftist politician: “When
did you forsake the doctrines of our founding fathers, and embrace Carl Marx?”
In 1879 during the lull in the second Afghan War between the Emir and the British Empire, had an incident arose involving radical Afghan’s and the troops, the Viceroy would have crushed them without mercy.
Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton – Viceroy of India, was not a nice person. In fact he was considered quite brutal. His lack of action during a famine caused the death of a million and a half Indians. I’m not suggesting such drastic measures against the Afghan people but let’s be reasonable. Is there any country besides us, that would take the abuse we have had had to endure just because a few holy books got desecrated, first by insurgent prisoners, then as a result of that, got burned. No! Absolutely not.
Look back at history. Is anyone under the illusion that any enemy we have ever fought throughout history would treat a civilian population as benevolently as we do? I doubt it. Why did Iran in November of 1979 take Americans as hostages? Why did Japan attack us in 1941? Because we were perceived as weak and vulnerable.
FDR exacerbated the depression, dismantled the armed forces, failed to keep up our strength and because of his incompetence, caused us to get attacked and loose the Philippines all in one fell swoop. Anything looking familiar today, perhaps since 1992?
We need to show more spine than smile and the other cheek or history will repeat itself.
According to an artical in Netplaces.com, There are very few factual details about the Toltec civilization that have survived and are available today. The Toltecs had no written language, and had disappeared from their cities 200 years before the Aztecs settled nearby at what is now Mexico City.
The Toltec was the first of three major groups that came into central Mexico from the north. In the eighth century A.D. they settled in Tula (also called Tollan), “the Place of the Reeds,” in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, north of what is now Mexico City. In Tula the Toltecs were familiar with smelting metal and were master stone carvers.
The Aztecs and many cultures before them spoke the Nahuatl language. It is still the native language of more than a million people throughout central Mexico and beyond. There are many dialects and variations, some unintelligible to each other, and many Spanish words have entered the vocabularies. Nahuatl is recognized as an official national language of Mexico.
Some believe that the Toltecs were strong warriors; others connect them with the pyramids at Teotihuacán, which show no signs of fortification or war. Their culture disappeared in the twelfth century, for unknown reasons, possibly overrun by a second wave of people, the Chichimecas. The Chichimecas’ culture slowly disappeared, and central Mexico entered a chaotic dark age until the Aztecs rose to power in Tenochtitlán at what is now Mexico City, in the early 1300s. Their extensive civilization lasted until the Spaniards arrived 200 years later.
The Aztecs did record what they knew and assumed about the Toltecs’ history, including legends and spiritual mythologies they adopted for themselves. Most of the Aztec codices were burned by the Spanish in an effort to erase their culture and convert the Aztecs to the Spaniards’ religious beliefs. The Mesoamerican cultures of the period worshiped the god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, among others, said to be the gentle god of philosophy and learning.
The Afghan Deception occured around the time period of the Hayes administration. According to a Bio in Wikipedia, Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States (1877–1881). As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States’ entry into the Second Industrial Revolution. He was a reformer who began the efforts that would lead to civil service reform and attempted, unsuccessfully, to reconcile the divisions that had led to the American Civil War fifteen years earlier.
In 1876, Hayes was elected president in one of the most contentious and hotly disputed elections in American history. Although he lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, Hayes won the presidency by the narrowest of margins after a Congressional commission awarded him twenty disputed electoral votes. The result was the Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats acquiesced to Hayes’s election and Hayes accepted the end of military occupation of the South.
Hayes believed in meritocratic government, equal treatment without regard to race, and improvement through education. He ordered federal troops to quell the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and ordered them out of Southern capitals as Reconstruction ended. He implemented modest civil service reforms that laid the groundwork for further reform in the 1880s and 1890s. Hayes kept his pledge not to run for re-election. He retired to his home in Ohio and became an advocate of social and educational reform.
I guess he figured serving one term was enough and didn’t want to push it. But during that term he seems to have done a great job in spite of a lack of funding for the War Department.
Ten facts about Rutherford B. Hayes from the archives of the Hayes Presidential Center Library…
- Hayes was the first president to take the oath of office in the White House.
- Hayes was the only president whose election was decided by a congressional commission.
- Hayes was the first president to travel to the West Coast during his term as president.
- Hayes was the first president to have a telephone in the White House.
- Hayes was the first president to have a typewriter in the White House.
- Though other presidents served in the Civil War, Hayes was the only one to have been wounded – four times!
- Hayes began the “Easter Egg Roll” for children on the White House Lawn (1878) – a tradition which still continues on the Monday after Easter.
- Lucy Webb Hayes was the first wife of a president to graduate from college,
- Lucy Webb Hayes was the first wife of a president to be called “First Lady”.
- Hayes’ best known quotation – “he serves his party best who serves his country best.” Inaugural Address, 1877.
Interesting facts and summary were written by Nan Card, curator of manuscripts.
Very impressive for a one term president.